Paddy McLaughlin says the “relentless” nature of Cliftonville’s schedule should be embraced as he and his players prepare to face Linfield in the Quarter Finals of the League Cup.
A fortnight on from victory over the Blues at the same stage of the County Antrim Shield, the Reds return to Windsor Park with their sights set on securing a second Semi Final berth of the season – which, as McLaughlin acknowledges, is easier said than done.
“It’s going to be another very tough game and they’re coming thick and fast for us at the minute,” he says.
“We’ve had a lot of midweek fixtures over the last while and it’s been relentless but, full credit to the players, they’ve strung together a good run of results. We’ve had a very testing month but we’ve come through on the right side of every game and we obviously want to keep that going.
“We played very well against Linfield the last time we were at Windsor and we know those are the minimum levels we’ll need to reach again.
“The more games you win, especially in Cup competitons, the more bigger games keep coming along and they’re the sort of matches you want to be involved in.
“A Club like Cliftonville should be looking to be in the latter stages of every competition and we want to keep our winning run going when we go to Windsor.”
Following the weekend’s 5-0 victory over Dungannon Swifts – a result that saw the Reds complete October’s Danske Bank Premiership obligations with a 100% record without conceding a single goal – McLaughlin revealed a number of his players will be subject to fitness checks.
“We’ve a few boys carrying little niggles and strains, so they’ll need to be assessed,” he adds.
“This might be an opportunity to rotate one or two players without weakening the team. We’ve got a good squad here and it’s important we make the best use of it, but we’ll wait and see what shape everyone’s in following on from Saturday.”
League Cup Quarter Final Ticket Sales
Tuesday, October 29: Ahead of kick-off (Windsor Park)